By Olawale Ibrahim, Lokoja
No fewer than 23 persons lost their lives in the early hour of the day in a multiple auto- crash that occurred when an articulated petrol tanker lost control, hit a car and burst into flame.
The explosion killed scores including schools children, parents, guardians and artisans who were out for the normal daily routine.
Western Post gathered that the incident about 7.30am on Wednesday morning at Felele, a suburb of Lokoja, Kogi State Capital.
Our correspondent gathered also that the tanker lost control as a result of brake failure and subsequently fell on a moving family car crushing them to death before it went into flame.
Eye witness accounts told Western Post at the scene of the incident that the articulated fuel tanker fell around popular GT plaza at Felele area on Lokoja Abuja highway on Wednesday morning.
He pointed out that several other vehicles, Motorcycles and Tricycles rammed into the accident and consequently lost their lives.
It was gathered that the petrol tanker fully loaded with Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), belongs to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was said to have had brake failure and rammed onto five cars, two motorbikes and three tricycles popularly known as Keke killing all occupants.
Sources explained further that among those killed and burnt beyond recognition include five students of the state-owned Polytechnic, three nursery school students and passerby, while a businessman identified simply as Samson, his wife and three children.
The Rescue team of the Federal Road safety corps arrived around 10 am came with an Ambulance from Rescue/rehabilitation to evacuate the corpses burnt beyond recognition while locals made frantic efforts to identify them.
However, the Kogi State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corp, Idris Fika Ali disclosed that a total of 23 persons were killed in the explosion, while one child escaped with injuries
According to him, 10 vehicles were involved, five cars, one tanker, 3 tricycles and 2 motorcycles, stressing that some family had retrieved the victims.
Ali pointed out the corpses of other victims have deposited at the specialist hospital in Lokoja.
Meanwhile, the Kogi State Governor Alhaji Yahaya Bello has expressed shock and sorrow over the fatal Tanker Explosion’ in Lokoja, the State Capital
Chief press secretary to the Governor, Onogwu Mohammed In a statement said, “Governor Bello is very sad to learn of the tragic loss of lives, many vehicles, property and other valuables in the petrol tanker fire while expressing his deepest condolences to the family of those affected by the ugly occurrence.”
He also urged the students of Kogi State Polytechnic to remain calm and peaceful, stating that he equally shared in their grieving moment over the death of some of their colleagues in the disaster.